Many argue that coworkers should not be your friends. Professional boundaries allow staff to remain objective in the workplace. However, nursing often requires a certain level of camaraderie that isn't necessarily required in other disciplines. Quality nursing care is at its best when staff feel supported by each other and management.
So what are some ways to improve work relationships? Here are our top 5 tips:
1. Positive Attitude
No one wants to be around people who complain ALL the time. Although sometimes it is difficult, find things to be positive about at work. It boasts the morale of those around you. Remember*** Positivity is contagious!
2. Be a Team Player
Being a team player can mean many things. It can be helping your fellow co-worker with a challenging workload. It could also mean switching a day on the schedule so your co-worker can go to her daughters dance recital. Being a team player allows co-workers to rely on each other, which builds trust.
3. Have a Sense of Humor
The hospital generally speaking isn't the happiest work environment. From drug abuse to death, nurses see some of the worlds worst conditions from the frontline. However, what makes hospitals better for co-workers (and ultimately for patients) is having nurses who make the experience as pleasurable as it can be. Having a sense of humor keeps spirits uplifted from what can be an emotional heavy job.
4. Be a Mentor
It is said that nurses “eat their young”. Some more experienced nurses almost seem to have an initiation process for newer nurses. Because so many young nurses are entering the workforce, this kind of attitude divides the unit. Experienced nurses should help and mentor the new nurses. Because nursing is always evolving, their new nurse mentee might even be able to teach them a thing or two.
5. Have Fun Together
Now, this doesn't necessarily mean go have a drink with your coworkers on the weekends (unless you want to of course). However, bringing in a cake to celebrate a birthday make work environments fun!
Nursing is hard enough without dreading going into work everyday. Implement these tips next time you're at work and watch your work relationships grow!